Review of Synology DS120j NAS |2021|

|tera|

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My Setup:
Synology NAS 120j
320GB SATA Seagate Hard Drive (I unfortunately didn't have an extra larger drive at the moment of writing this).
Huawei B535 Router
Wireless Network.
NAS connected via LAN. WIFI devices can access it without any problem.

The Synology NAS is a great first-time NAS (Network Attached Storage Device)
It's not just used for Storage though,
If you haven't owned a NAS before, you need to know what it is and how you could benefit from it.
• The device (NAS) is a dedicated backup solution, media server and a place for your photos, videos and audio.
• The NAS requires a Hard Drive or Solid State Disk.
• The NAS comes supplied with a RJ45 LAN cable. A power adapter with a 2-pin plug adapter.
• The NAS package also includes screws, that you need to fasten to your physical disk and to close the 120j.
• You are able to Stream Live video/audio with Plex as an example. You can also Stream local content which is already stored on the NAS.
• The device allows you to backup and synchronise your information from your PC or phone or other mobile devices.
• You are able to synchronise your information, either one way or two way to popular Cloud Storage providers.
• The device is easy to unbox and just as easy to install.
• All data/partitions/information on the drive installed will be erased during the setup of the device.
• The data needs to be erased to load the NAS Operating System. After the OS is loaded, it used about 900 Megabytes of space. Which is really great.
• You can manage and use the Device features from your mobile devices as well as PCs.
• The device contains Shared folders, so you can share content to other users, or your Team.
• It has collaboration features as well, which I'm sure businesses would love to use.

My experience:
The device unboxing is easy. The Quick Start booklet provided is short and to the point.
The build quality of the device is good. The white colour is appealing. The LED indicators flash nicely, without being an eye-sore.
It's actually a pretty neat and great looking device. that should fit nicely with any interior design.
The actual hard drive install is quick. Just open the Synology 120j, slot in the physical disk, fasten all the screws (which are provided in the box),
Close the device, fasten the screws. Open your browser to the link provided in the Quick Start booklet. Start the setup process.
The device installed it's OS (DSM) in under 10 minutes. Going by the time, I would say it took 5 minutes max. No issues, smooth sailing.
I created a new Synology account during the setup Wizard, since I didn't have one and it worked flawlessly. No issues and a quick sign up process.
The device is fast. It's easy to manage. Once you have set it up, just take your time to get accustomed to the interface.
Browse the interface a bit. Check the options and once you are confident enough with the layout and how everything works, then it's really easy going.

My intended use:
• I intend to use it as a Plex media solution.
• I also intend to setup a complete backup and synchronisation to Cloud Storage.
• I will add a larger, faster Hard Drive in future, when I'm able to do so.
• I'll be using it for Home purposes and not Business use.
• I'll definitely go more in-depth with it in future. I believe it has great possibilities.
• I've tested Plex casting from my PC and phone to my Chromecast and it works beautifully, so I'll use it without a doubt for Streaming.

Conclusion:
It's a perfect first-time NAS. Easy to setup (your Mom could do it :p)
Why would you need it?
External hard drive solutions are sometimes tedious to use, attach, remove, re-attach etc,
You won't be able to get the same benefits from external storage, like you could with a Synology 120j NAS.
With a NAS it's almost a Set-and-Forget solution. Just like your trusty Router, but instead for your Media, Data, Backups and general memorabilia.

Here's some photos and screenshots of my Unboxing and Setup. I don't have a great camera on my phone, so please excuse some of the pics.
Edit: corrected storage information after DSM install.
 

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|tera|

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|tera|

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Foxhound5366

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Phew, somebody was up late writing this ... did you just get an itch?

I'm interested you felt the device is fast ... I'm totally not getting that during my testing. I'm spoiled by SSDs, so I think some of it is just reverting to a regular HDD ... but there's like a five second load when performing any action that actually requires HDD interaction (e.g. creating a new folder or even just loading into the virtual desktop). Were you ok with that?
 

InternetLuddite

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Phew, somebody was up late writing this ... did you just get an itch?

I'm interested you felt the device is fast ... I'm totally not getting that during my testing. I'm spoiled by SSDs, so I think some of it is just reverting to a regular HDD ... but there's like a five second load when performing any action that actually requires HDD interaction (e.g. creating a new folder or even just loading into the virtual desktop). Were you ok with that?
I think the most important factor to consider as a reviewer is also exactly where this particular device is marketed at :- entry level NAS / Starter NAS

In that light, so far my experience is that it performs admirably even if it is struggling with downloading my 580GB cloud storage. Still running. Sorry Vox !
 

|tera|

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Phew, somebody was up late writing this ... did you just get an itch?

I'm interested you felt the device is fast ... I'm totally not getting that during my testing. I'm spoiled by SSDs, so I think some of it is just reverting to a regular HDD ... but there's like a five second load when performing any action that actually requires HDD interaction (e.g. creating a new folder or even just loading into the virtual desktop). Were you ok with that?
To be honest I don't experience much lag with it. I uploaded about 3GB of video just to test and it went fairly quickly.
I'm also used to SSDs, since my laptop has one. My Desktop has a HDD. The NAS performs in line with the Desktop.
FWIW the brightness of the LEDs can be adjusted (and scheduled) in the Hardware and Power section of the control panel. Handy if you're sharing a room with it.
:)
Thanks for the tip Bwana. I'll definitely check it out :)
He's his most productive during the wee hours of the morning :)
Lol. Lately I've been productive from the morning to the wee hours. But you are right. Generally night/early working hours suit me best. :)
 

|tera|

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FWIW the brightness of the LEDs can be adjusted (and scheduled) in the Hardware and Power section of the control panel. Handy if you're sharing a room with it. :)
Just checked and double checked. The option is not available for the DS120j.
It can be disabled using a script according to Google.
They don't bother me, so I'm not going the script route.
 

bwana

MyBroadband
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Just checked and double checked. The option is not available for the DS120j.
It can be disabled using a script according to Google.
They don't bother me, so I'm not going the script route.
That's weird. Do you have the Hardware and Power control panel?

According to this review you should be able to.
Again, these are fairly standard for any storage device but nevertheless are discrete and the brightness of the LEDs can be controlled via the Synology diskstation manager 6.2 software.
 

|tera|

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Just found out that I'm a proud owner of the Synology DS120j NAS that I reviewed in this thread.
Thank you @Elouise and @rpm, I sincerely appreciate it.
I started an upload of 46.2 GB at 17:15 and it completed in 1 hour, 45 minutes.
The performance is acceptable to me, taking the old age of the hard drive into account.
I also only have a Wireless N connection, to the Router, connected at 150 Mbps.
I'm happy with it and definitely recommend getting one to streamline your Home/Business.
 

|tera|

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Good morning Mybroadband.
How to enable and use WOL (Wake on LAN) on the DS120j.

  • Log in to Disk Station Manager using your administrators credentials.
  • Now choose Control PanelHardware and PowerGeneral
  • In the General panel you will find an option called Enable WOL on LAN.
  • Tick the check box to Enable WOL on LAN
  • Select Apply
When the device is powered off use the Synology DSFinder App to Wake the device on LAN.

Steps: Choose logout at the bottom of the App. Click on the NAS displayed after logout. The App will ask you to WOL. CIick ok. Wait a few moments. Close the DSFinder App and reopen it. Choose the NAS and it will login as usual.

You can also power off or restart the device with DSFinder.

Happy times :)
 

|tera|

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This NAS just gets better.
I removed some of the stock installations and my RAM usage is way better.

The mobile apps are awesome.
DS File: remote uploading/changes from my phone.
DS Audio: Free Shoutcast Internet radio. Streamable to my Chromecast.
DS Get: Download directly from the Web to the NAS.
DS Finder: Power/Restart/WOL/Storage Overview.

I'm in love :love:
 

|tera|

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Just FIY.
The standard Web interface of DSM (The OS) also includes Download Station to directly download content from the Web to the NAS.

I downloaded a fair chunk today and it's slightly slower than a normal Download Manager.
 

Foxhound5366

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Just FIY.
The standard Web interface of DSM (The OS) also includes Download Station to directly download content from the Web to the NAS.

I downloaded a fair chunk today and it's slightly slower than a normal Download Manager.
I discovered that after I mapped my NAS on my PC, I could just download directly from uTorrent to the NAS. Which is convenient.
 

|tera|

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I discovered that after I mapped my NAS on my PC, I could just download directly from uTorrent to the NAS. Which is convenient.
For some reason Drive Mapping doesn't work on my PC. I get authentication errors. I spent about 2 hours attempting to fix it and gave up.

Please let me know if you are able to setup SSL on your device. Also tried and couldn't get it working. :)
 

Foxhound5366

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For some reason Drive Mapping doesn't work on my PC. I get authentication errors. I spent about 2 hours attempting to fix it and gave up.

Please let me know if you are able to setup SSL on your device. Also tried and couldn't get it working. :)
In my review I posted today I shared the link to how to get drive mapping to work ... there are two checkboxes you have to tick in file management. There's a how-to video in my review.

Haven't tried to get SSL working, but my next issue is that I can't use DS File to access my NAS from outside my network. In theory I've enabled remote access and got the Quickconnect username so it *should* work ... no doubt another obscure setting somewhere. Don't suppose you've figured that one out?
 

|tera|

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In my review I posted today I shared the link to how to get drive mapping to work ... there are two checkboxes you have to tick in file management. There's a how-to video in my review.

Haven't tried to get SSL working, but my next issue is that I can't use DS File to access my NAS from outside my network. In theory I've enabled remote access and got the Quickconnect username so it *should* work ... no doubt another obscure setting somewhere. Don't suppose you've figured that one out?
Thanks, I'll check it out.
I haven't setup steps for external network access, since I'm not going to log in remotely.
I only have a quick connect address.
Edit: Nope. Drive mapping still doesn't work :(
@Foxhound5366 Got the SMB working.
It was a problem with my Eset Internet Security Config. It was blocking SMB on the Network Attack Protection settings.
Thanks for the help :)
I'll crack the SSL again. Seems like I would need to use it with an actual Internet Domain.
 
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